Story at a glance
- One percent of the tax is diverted directly to funding Alabama’s Confederate Memorial Park in Mountain Creek.
- The proposed bill will require the same 1 percent distribution to sites promoting Black history.
- Democratic Sen. Bobby Singleton and his Republican colleague, Sen. Clyde Chambliss, are co-sponsoring the bill.
State senators in Alabama proposed a bill that would take the lone state tax tied to the Confederacy and reallocate the funds toward the preservation of the state’s Black history.
The tax was originally collected to fund pensions for Confederate soldiers and widows. It is still collected today, with 1 percent of the funds diverted directly to preserving Alabama’s Confederate Memorial Park in Mountain Creek, The Associated Press (AP) reported. Lawmakers created the park in 1964 as a “shrine to the honor of Alabama’s citizens of the Confederacy.”
Democratic Sen. Bobby Singleton and his Republican colleague Sen. Clyde Chambliss, are co-sponsoring the bill. Chambliss told The Montgomery Advertiser that the bill will continue to fund the Confederate Memorial Park, but it will require the same 1 percent distribution to sites promoting Black history. The funding for each use could total $500,000 apiece, according to the AP.
Chambliss explained to the outlet the importance of remembering the entirety of the state’s history and “learning from both the good and the bad.”
“I will continue working with all that want to share my love of history, to protect, enhance and restore symbols that will help us avoid the mistakes of the past and move our state forward in a positive direction,” Chambliss said.
Singleton did not respond to the AP’s request for comment.
Alabama lawmakers previously attempted to withdraw funding from the park but were unsuccessful, according to the AP. The proposed bill would additionally create a process where state Confederate memorials could be moved to the park.
Current state law prohibits moving monuments that are more than 50 years old, The Montgomery Advertiser reported.
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